Euphorbia guentheri (Pax) Bruyns
Monadenium guentheri (basionym)
Euphorbia guentheri, also known as Monadenium guentheri, is a stout, perennial succulent with long, cylindrical stems with prominent spine-tipped tubercles and fleshy, sickle-shaped, deciduous leaves. The stems are unbranched, up to 3 feet (90 cm) long and up to 0.4 inches (2 cm) in diameter. The leaves are fleshy, up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) long and up to 0.7 inch (1.8 cm) wide. The flowers are small with a red, rim-like gland and enclosed in 2 fused, greenish-white bracts with lovely, purple mottling.
USDA hardiness zone 8b to 10b: from 15 °F (−9.4 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).
Euphorbias are very easy to care for. They require a little pampering to become established, but once they are, they are self-sufficient. In fact, more die from too much care and watering than from neglect. Euphorbias need well-draining soil and lots of sunlight. They are not particular about soil pH, but they cannot tolerant wet soil. Unlike most succulents, Euphorbia does not handle long periods of drought well. It may need weekly watering during the summer. Water whenever the soil is dry several inches below the surface. Water deeply, but don't let them sit in wet soil, which can cause root rot. Add some organic matter or fertilizer to the planting hole. If you are growing them in containers or your soil is poor, feed with a half-strength fertilizer monthly.
Euphorbia can be grown from seed, but they can be difficult to germinate (or even find). It is usually propagated by cuttings. This can be tricky, because of the exuding sap. Rooting hormone is recommended with Euphorbias. They tend to grow problem free, but there are a few pests and diseases to be alert for… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia
It is native to Kenya.
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Origin and Habitat: South East Kenya, Teita Distr. Make Tan, not far from Buru Mountain. It is known from the type locality only.
Altitude: 900 - 1000 metres above sea level.
Habitat: It grows in grass in open scrub.
Description: Monadenium guentheri is a stout perennial succulent herb with long, cylindrical stems, with prominent spine-tipped tubercles and fleshy sickle-shaped deciduous leaves. Flowers small with a red rim-like gland and enclosed in two fused greenish-white bracts with lovely purple mottling. At yet very few species of this Genus are to be found in collections but this one is one of the older species described during the early part of the twentieth-century.
Root: It has a fleshy, thick, rootstock that can be profitably raised.
Stems: Many, unbranched, fleshy, cylindric, spiny, erect to 15-60 cm tall or decumbent to 90 cm long, to 2 cm in diameter, tessellated with prominent slightly recurved conical tubercles to 7 x 7 mm from which the leaves arise. Each tubercles with 1-3 small prickles clustered at apex around the base of the leaf or leaf-scar, stout, to 2 mm long, with the middle spine deflexed, and the lateral smaller, glabrous.
Leaves: Obovate, to 7-80 mm long, 3-18 mm wide, broad, linear-lanceolate, acute, entire, fleshy, with margins more-or-less crisped, deciduous, glabrous.
Inflorescences (cymes): Simple in the axils of the tubercles peduncles 4-6 mm long, bearing 1–2 ciathya. Bract-cup oblique, 6-mm long, 5 mm broad, shortly and acutely 2-lobed at the apex, open in front, with the margins not nearly meeting, 2-keeled down the back, glabrous, greenish- white flushed pink or purple, lobes acute.
Flowers (cyathia): About 5 long and 4 mm across open to below the middle in front, scarcely narrowing to the truncate revolute rim-like top or gland, glabrous nectar-glands rim red.
Fruits (capsules): Acutely 3-lobed, about 5 x 5 mm, with 2 narrow fleshy toothed wings along each angle Ped 5 mm
Seeds: Oblong, 3-3.8 mm long 1.5 mm broad, 4-angled, truncate at each end, smooth, minutely tuberculate, grey, caruncle present.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Urs Eggli “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Dicotyledons” Springer, 2002
2) By J. G. Baker, with additions by C. H. Wright. “Flora of Tropical Africa” Vol 6 Part 1, page 441 1913
3) Joseph Burtt-Davy, A C Hoyle “Check-lists of the Forest Trees and Shrubs of the British Empire” Edizione 5, Parte 2 1949
4) Arthur John Jex-Blake “Gardening in East Africa: A Practical Handbook” Longmans, Green, 1957
5) Alain Campbell White, Robert Allen Dyer, Boyd L. Sloane “The succelent Euphorbisae (southern Africa)” Abbey garden press, 1941
6) Jean-Pierre Lebrun, Adélaïde L. Stork “Tropical African flowering plants: ecology and distribution” Volume 2 Éditions Conservatoire et jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genéve, 2003
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Cultivation and Propagation: On the whole Monadenium guentheri adapts to cultivation without much difficulty. They must be grown very hard in the nursery as close to the natural conditions as possible. This ensures that they keep their compact habit.
Growing rate: It is a moderately fast grower, and will quickly become large masterpieces in just 3-5 years.
Light: It can tolerate moderate shade, and a plant that has been growing in shade should be slowly hardened off before placing it in full sun as the plant will be severely scorched if moved too suddenly from shade into sun.
Soil: Generally, any quick-draining succulent soil mix will suit it. In pots give the plant an airy growing medium which mainly consists of non organic material such us clay, pumice, lava grit, and only a little peat or leaf-mould.
Repotting: It like quite small pots, repot in very later winter, early spring.
Waterings: The sausage-like stem will do well will take a reasonable amount of water in hot weather, when they grow (about once a week). It needs to be kept drier in winter (when the leaves drop) and whenever not growing actively. However, this species seems to hate being wet for any extended period, and can rot easily (especially in winter) if overwatered.
Hardiness: Monadenium guentheri, due to its African origin, cannot tolerate freezing temperatures, and should be protected from cold (but should be able to handle 7 degrees C very easily).
Propagation: Cuttings, seeds.
Gardening is one of the great pastimes. There’s something calming about tending to a garden, watching it grow, and reveling in its beauty. This time of year, the spring, gardening is something that many do because of the ideal weather.
But, there are also types of gardening that can be done indoors that can bring the same joy, if not more as gardening outside. One of the most popular this year and last is the succulent garden.
The definition of succulent plants is: plants that store water in leaves, stems, or both. There are many different types, species, and cultivars, all with a fascinating assortment of shapes, sizes, colors, and unique features that can range from frills to spines and beautiful flowers.
Succulent plants are extremely hardy and require little attention. They can grow fast and reproduce to staggering sizes in no time.
The makings of a succulent garden is quite easy. You’ll need a large dish, pot, bowl, or similar. This will actually house the succulents. You’ll then need some potting soil and some small rocks, like gravel, volcanic rocks, or the like. Then, of course, you’ll need succulents.
Because of their many variations, choosing can be the most difficult task of making a succulent garden. The key to creating a beautiful succulent garden is quite similar to creating a beautiful flower garden: variations in size, shape, and color.
Begin with something tall, like aloe vera. Not only is this hardy plant low-maintenance, it can also provide a natural medicine. If you have a burn, superficial cut or abrasion, simply break off one the aloe vera leaves and use the sticky goop on the wound. It has a cooling effect that’s perfect for burns, as well as an antibacterial property to help reduce infection.
Second in your garden, try something that sprawls out and covers a lot of surface. The succulent, Hen and Chicks, is perfect for this. One of the cool things about Hen and Chicks is their ability to spread. You can plant a single Hen and Chick and within a couple months it may cover your entire dish, with proper care, of course.
Thirdly, go for something with color. Try the spindly succulent, Euphorbia Guentheri, also known as the Sausage Spurge. This towering plant will grow in numerous directions, filling in empty space in your bowl. It will also flower beautiful white flowers on the tips of the plant. You can also plant a succulent that’s known as the zebra plant. These long leaves are striped, much like a zebra.
Now that you’ve got all your succulents in your bowl, give them some water and place them in a spot in your home that gets some sunlight. These plants can actually survive massive temperature shifts. After all, they are native to deserts, which get hot in the day and extremely cold at night. All that’s required is a once a month watering, give or take, and sunlight. Before you know it everyone in your senior living community will want to know how you created such a beautiful garden. When it comes to plants like the Hen and Chicks, you can literally pull up a single Hen and Chick and gift it to someone, who can then plant it with great success.
We hope that you can find some solace in your new succulent garden and that it brings you years of joy.
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Euphorbia guentheri (Sausage Spurge) is a stout perennial succulent herb with long, cylindrical stems, with prominent spine-tipped tubercles and fleshy sickle-shaped deciduous leaves. The stems are unbranched, up to 3 feet (90 cm) long and up to 2 cm in diameter. The leaves are fleshy, up to 8 cm long and up to 1.8 cm wide. The blossoms are little with a red, rim-like gland and enclosed in 2 fused, greenish-white bracts with lovely, purple mottling.
Scientific Name: Euphorbia guentheri
Synonyms: Monadenium guentheri (basionym)
Common Names: Sausage Spurge
It prefers full to partial sunlight. Provides good sunlight at least 3-5 hours of the day, and turn it regularly so that your plant doesn’t begin to grow lopsided.
It grows well in well-draining, gritty soils or cactus potting mix. They are not particular about soil pH, but they cannot tolerate wet soil.
You can allow the soil to dry out between each watering. Before watering the plant check underneath the pot through the drainage holes to see if the roots are dry. If so then add some water. Do not water too often to prevent overwatering, that can potentially kill it off.
It prefers an optimal temperatures of 60 degrees Fahrenheit – 85 degrees Fahrenheit / 16 degrees Celsius to 29 degrees Celsius.
Fertilize every two weeks with a diluted balanced liquid fertilizer during its growing season in the spring and summer. Avoid fertilizing your plant during the fall and winter months.
Euphorbia can be easily propagated by cuttings. Take cutting in spring, which needs to be dried out for a couple of weeks before potting. Also can be propagated from seed, but they can be difficult to germinate.
Pests and Diseases:
Euphorbia may be susceptible to mealybugs, scale insects, occasionally spider mites.